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First Pro Win for Matilda Castren

Matilda Castren is now a professional golf champion. Castren earned her first win as a pro at the Symetra Tour's 2020 Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship. Castren, from Finland, finished a comfortable five strokes ahead of the second-place golfer. Castren was the only golfer in the three-round tournament to post two scores in the 60s, shooting 68-68 over the first two rounds. She closed with a 2-under 71 to finish at 12-under 207. The victory moved her to 15th on the Symetra Tour money list. The win came one week after Castren finished 23rd in the 2020 Women's PGA Championship, an LPGA major and the fifth LPGA tournament she's played in 2020. That was her best finish to date on the LPGA. Castren, now 25 years old, turned pro in 2018 following a stellar collegiate career at Florida State. That career included seven NCAA victories, and Castren was a two-time All-America selection.
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Spanish Golfer Luna Sobron Wins 8-Hole Playoff

Luna Sobron Galmes, a Spanish golfer who typically is known as Luna Sobron, had to work overtime to earn her most recent pro tour victory. Eight extra holes of overtime. Sobron won an 8-hole playoff to take the title at the 2020 Santander Golf Tour Lerma, a tournament cosanctioned by the Ladies European Tour Access Series (LETAS). Sobron got into the playoff by firing a 68 in the final round, which tied her at 12-under with Mireia Prat and Anaelle Carnet. Sobron finally ended the playoff with a 4-foot birdie putt on the eighth playoff hole. It was the third career win on the LETAS for Sobron, who previously claimed the 2016 Terre Blanche Ladies Open and the 2017 Castellum Ladies Open. One of Luna's amateur highlights was winning the the 2014 European Amateur Championship. She also reached the championship match in the 2013 Ladies British Amateur Championship, where she lost to Georgia Hall. Sobron turned pro in 2016, after earning low amateur honors by finishing tied for 13th…

Sophia Popov, Major Championship Winner

It took longer than many who watched her play amateur golfer thought it would, and probably longer than she thought it would, but Sophia Popov is an LPGA winner. And not just an LPGA winner, but a major championship winner. Popov won the 2020 Women's British Open on August 23 with a strong closing round of 68. She finished at 7-under 277, two strokes ahead of the runner-up Jasmine Suwannapura. Popov turned pro in 2014 following a stellar amateur career that included five wins while at the University of Southern California. She also won the 2010 European Ladies Amateur. Since 2016 she has had membership on the Symetra Tour and posted four runner-up finishes there, including at the Founders Tribute earlier this year. That was one sign that Popov was ready to make a step up, now that she's fully healthy (she missed quite a bit of time the past few years due to injuries). While the Symetra and LPGA tours were on hiatus due to COVID-19, Popov was staying sharp on the Cactus T…

Annabell Fuller, England Stroke Play Champ

Annabell Fuller is the England Women's Amateur Stroke Play champion for the year 2020, a feat she pulled off at Burnham and Berrow Golf Club in the tournament that concluded on August 20. Fuller, who is 18 years old, entered the tournament with a World Amateur Golf Ranking of 51 and a European Golf Ranking of 34, rankings that will surely improve now. She has been as high as 21st in the world rankings. Earlier in 2020 Fuller was runner-up in the Swiss Amateur, and in 2019 she finished fifth in the European Ladies Amateur Championship. She is in her freshman season as a member of the University of Florida golf team. She also won the Major Champions Invitational in 2019, played for Team GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy that year, was on Team Europe in the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup, and was a member of Team GB&I in the 2018 Curtis Cup. At the English Stroke Play, Annabell carded rounds of 71, 68, 73 and 70 to finish at 6-under par. She won by three strokes.English am Annabell Fu…

Atthaya Thitikul's First Win as a Pro

Atthaya Thitikul is only 17 years old as this is written, and has been a pro golfer for less than a year. Yet, it seems like she's been around on the international golf scene for a while now. That's because she has been, for several years. But on July 24, 2020, the golfer who is called "Jeeno" by friends earned her first professional win at the Singha-Sat Thai LPGA Championship 2020, a tournament on the Thai LPGA Tour. Thitikul won the tournament with scores of 66, 66 and 67, finishing at 17-under-par 199. She won by two strokes. To be clear, this was not the first pro tournament Thitikul won: She previously won the Ladies European Thailand Championship in 2017 and in 2019, both co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour. But in both instances, Jeeno was playing as an amateur. So the 2020 Thai LPGA Championship is her first victory playing as a professional golfer. When Thitikul won the 2017 Ladies European Thailand Championship, she was only 14 years 4 months a…

Sarah Burnham Wins With Record Score

With the LPGA Tour on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak, tour members, especially those early in their careers, are looking elsewhere for competition. For 24-year-old Sarah Burnham, that meant entering the 2020 Michigan PGA Women's Open. Good decision: She dominated. Burnham finished with a tournament-record score of 18-under 198 to win by a whopping 10 strokes. The tournament, played at Crystal Mountain, concluded on July 1. Burnham opened with a 65, shot 70 in the second round, then fired a final-round 63 that was one stroke off the course record. She had seven birdies, an eagle (on a par-4) and zero bogeys in the final round. Burnham was an LPGA Tour rookie in 2019, when her best finish in an LPGA tournament was tied for ninth place at the Cambia Portland Classic. Before joining the LPGA, Burnham played college golf at Michigan State University, where she was the two-time Big 10 Player of the Year. The swing of Michigan PGA Women's Open winner and LPGA Tour member @bur…

Cactur Tour Win for USC's Gabi Ruffels

Playing as an amateur, Gabi Ruffels earned her first win in a pro tournament on June 26, 2020. Ruffels won the Cactus Tour tournament played at Legacy Golf Club in Henderson, Nevada, by two strokes over fellow amateur Briana Chacon. Ruffels, a 20-year-old from Australia who is a senior at Southern Cal, started the final round two strokes behind Chacon. But a final-round 66 took care of that. She finished at 13-under 203. Ruffels is also the reigning U.S. Women's Amateur champion. And in preparation for her title defense in that tournament in Augusta, Ruffels will be playing in July, in the Jacksonville Amateur Championship. She'll be the first woman in tournament history to play that event, and will be playing from the same tees as the guys. "I thought it was a great opportunity to test my game before the Women’s Am," Ruffels told the Golf Channel. "The women’s amateur schedule has been very restricted with everything that's going on, so has been tough …